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George Duke

 Keyboardist-composer-producer George Duke’s imprint on jazz and pop music is almost impossible to calculate, with more than 30 solo recordings and a resume that spans over 40 years. Born in San Rafael, CA, in 1946, Duke began his formal piano training at age seven and attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He launched his solo recording career at age 19, veering more toward fusion, R&B and funk with albums From Me To You (1976), Reach For It and Don’t Let Go, featuring his first Top 10 R&B hit, “Dukey Stick” (1978). In 1980, he released the well-loved Brazilian Love Affair, featuring vocals by Flora Purim and Milton Nascimento, and percussion by Airto Moreira. A versatile producer helping to craft recordings by jazz, R&B and pop artists, Duke scored his second R&B hit, 'Sweet Baby' with Stanley Clarke, the other half of the Clarke/Duke Project. Snapshot – Duke’s ‘90s release – generated another top single, “No Rhyme, No Reason,” followed up by Dukey Treats in 2008 and Déjà vu in 2010. Gaining experience as musical director for the Nelson Mandela tribute concert at Wembley Stadium in London in 1988, Duke filled the position of musical director of NBC’s acclaimed late-night music performance program, Sunday Night, as well as the role of music director on the Soul Train music awards and TV show. Duke owns his own record label, Big Piano Music (BPM), which was founded in 2000, and is a member of the ASCAP Board of Directors.

My Panelists Sessions

Saturday, April 21

2:15pm PDT

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